I admit it, I was watching a Star Wars: The Clone Wars for the better part of the past two hours while I simultaneously surfed for some good commercials to inspire me. Man, that is a great adaptation of the Star Wars saga, with cool effects and awesomely cool robots and space ships and aliens. The future is way cooler than the present, the iPad 2 notwithstanding.
Oddly, I managed to find a really good ad from Dodge about driving in the future by searching for robots. It worked. Maybe the force was with me. All the same, this ad is a fine continuation of the Dodge campaign that has been running over the last year. The calm, deep, smooth male voice speaks to your inner man (yes, that’s who Dodge markets to), recites what happens in the future, and it seems to be a combination of I, Robot and iPad, but even more sanitized, far less fun and essentially devoid of joy.
The short version is, the passive male becomes the dominant male when the robots take away his last bastion of fun, the drive to work. As Iggy Pop once sang, No Fun. The ad is simple -- it shows a streak of irresponsibility as the Dodge Charger being advertised goes with its dinosaur-juice guzzling V-8 ripping like a madman through the town. That is, after the all American male literally rips the head off the nanny robot in utter frustration and takes a caveman step backward into his four-wheeled man cave. I loved it.
So why does this commercial merit a thumbs-up? Most of us have day jobs that are either unsatisfying, soul-sucking or boring. Most of us feel like the world is spinning out of control and we’re just a computer error away from our credit rating being smashed to bits. Or you are just waiting for another new piece of software or machine that promises to make your life better, easier, simpler to keel over and break the day after the warranty expires. So the message of taking back the power from the robots by the humans, in graphically violent fashion no less, really works on an emotional level. Perfect for Dodge’s image and brand reinforcement.